Online Colleges That Pay You To Attend

Online colleges that pay you to attend may seem too good to be true, especially with the soaring costs of post-secondary schooling in the U.S.

However, plenty of phenomenal programs can help you get a degree of your choosing with zero fees.

With a little research, you can get some of the best education possible without spending a cent.

How Do Colleges Pay You to Attend?

Technically, these programs don’t deposit a check into your account every two weeks like a regular job.

Instead, they allow you to put your money elsewhere, such as in your future savings.

With the ability to enroll in $0 programs, students are essentially being paid for their studies.

It’s a phenomenal way to avoid the hefty burden of dealing with student debt at graduation.

With that said, there is a common misconception that colleges that pay you to attend offer lower-quality schooling than others.

Fortunately, these programs give you top-quality education, minus the tens of thousands of dollars you spend on tuition.

Online Colleges That Pay You to Attend

Let’s get into the list of the best online colleges you can attend for no cost.

It’s important to note that because this is such a massive benefit, they are highly competitive programs.

If you find you are interested, it is best to apply as soon as possible.

Columbia University

Columbia University is one of the top-ranked schools in the United States.

Columbia Online is where you should look if you are interested in getting some of the best learning under your belt.

With a curriculum akin to their campus learning opportunities, Columbia Online can be entirely free.

Since it’s online, this program provides educational opportunities to students regardless of location.

It is also one of the top accredited American colleges you can attend entirely online.

The online school allows you to explore diverse areas of study such as arts, sciences, social work, engineering, and more.

Many of Columbia Online’s courses apply to their Tuition Exemption Program, which is available to Columbia employees and their family members.

You’ll never have to worry about tuition costs as long as you meet their eligibility requirements.

Berea College

Undoubtedly, Berea College has one of the best options for students searching for free college.

Like many of the other free colleges in the states, Berea focuses on Christian studies.

However, students can also find interesting programs like biology, sociology, nature studies, agriculture, and more.

With this school, students can get up to $100,000 in education for free. This is because the school believes students in Christ should have access to top-tier learning.

That said, it’s important to note that although your tuition is covered, students are responsible for additional costs.

For example, you will be required to pay additional taxes. Outside of these costs, the school essentially pays you to attend their courses.

Barclay College

Barclay College is one of the largest Christian schools that provide students with low to no-cost tuition.

The campus is located in Kansas, and its curriculum can be traced back to 1917, with its initial purpose of being a bible school.

This institution is unique because it is a free Christian college founded by Quakers.

The central premise of the programs at Barclay is to help students prepare for Christian leadership and service.

You will find bachelor’s degree programs in youth ministry, worship arts, and pastoral ministry. Also, there are a few other undergraduate degrees you can get for free.

That said, students interested in a $0 tuition will need to apply for a full scholarship for the school.

Currently, Barclay offers free schooling to domestic students granted the $15,000 scholarship, funded by the school’s sponsors.

University of Missouri – Columbia

Imagine being able to trade work for school, which is what the University of Missouri – Columbia offers to their students.

With its full tuition waiver, it is one of the better online schools you can choose in the United States.

During your research, you will find that the school has some of the highest funds available for scholarships and grants.

Also known as their work-study program, students must qualify before being granted a degree at zero cost.

It is also essential to note that applicants must either be permanent residents or U.S. citizens.

Keep in mind that you will need to be enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program before applying.

Through this program, you will be expected to work and attend school simultaneously.

This program can be incredibly beneficial for students, as you’ll get hands-on and academic knowledge at the same time.

You will earn your degree through hard work, helping make you a more employable graduate.

It isn’t an entirely online program, as you will be expected to attend work in person. However, all your studies will be conducted online, making them easier to fit into your schedule.


Instead of signing up for traditional learning opportunities, why not take advantage of modern education through edX?

edX is a phenomenal compilation of the best free programs from some of the most prestigious schools in the country.

For example, you’ll find courses from over 160 universities and colleges, including Berkeley, MIT, and Harvard.

With edX, students can sign up for an account for free and browse through an assortment of online programs.

Students can choose from three different learning pathways: executive education, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees.

By compiling these options, it’s remarkably simple to find the program you need.

Executive education courses can diversify your existing skills to make you more career-ready.

These courses are designed as continuing education opportunities, helping professionals diversify their acumen. You’ll find several course options such as:

  • Accelerated Management (Yale)
  • FinTech (HarvardX)
  • Cybersecurity (HarvardX)
  • Artificial Intelligence (MIT Sloan)

There are also numerous master’s and bachelor’s degree programs in various specialties, such as:

  • Analytics
  • Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Psychology
  • Law
  • Nursing
  • Speech
  • Education

University of the People

If you’ve researched free schooling, you’ll find that the University of the People is one of the top institutions to consider.

It is one of the most popular options for students looking for schools that will essentially pay them to attend.

In fact, it’s often seen as the first non-profit tuition-free school accredited in the United States.

Through the University of the People, students can explore several phenomenal learning opportunities.

You’ll find degrees in Health Science, Computer Science, Education, Business Administration, and more.

It’s important to remember that tuition through this school is entirely free, but there are additional fees to consider, including:

  • $17/accepted transfer credit
  • $120 to $240 undergraduate course assessment fee
  • $60 application fee

Aside from free tuition, another remarkable tenet of the University of the People is course accessibility.

You will never have to worry about attending the campus in person, making it phenomenal for working professionals.

In other words, your schooling can easily fit into your schedule because it’s all online.

University of Cambridge

When it comes to affluent universities discussed in the most illustrious circles, the University of Cambridge is well known.

Located in the U.K., it is home to nearly 110 Nobel Prize Laureates, 190 Olympic Medalists, and over 47 Heads of State.

Undoubtedly, it is a school that has raised some of the most prestigious names worldwide.

That said, it is also known to have some of the most expensive tuition costs in the country. However, there are multiple learning opportunities students can unlock for free.

With the surging emergence of free learning, the University of Cambridge has no-cost programs on iTunesU.

You will find hundreds of audio-only and video content you can download through iTunes and review at your leisure.

Although it is not a full degree program, these courses can considerably help your prospects. You can attend virtual lectures, review interviews, and even enjoy short films.

University of Arizona – Global Campus

Unlike the other online schools on this list, the University of Arizona doesn’t exactly have 100% free tuition.

However, its Credit Transfer Program is something every student needs to consider because it can greatly decrease your costs.

Aside from transferring your regular school credits, you can also use your work and life experience.

Students with lifelong experiences and hands-on knowledge in their field of study can apply this knowledge to their degree.

The school will determine how many credits will be rewarded depending on your criteria.

Through this program, your university costs could decrease considerably while getting your degree in less time.

Another massive advantage of the University of Arizona – Global Campus is its tuition assistance.

You will find multiple grants and scholarships to apply for, which can help you get close to $0 worth of school costs.

Additionally, you will never have to worry about application fees or standardized testing to get accepted.


We know; Google isn’t a university or college, but it has some of the most remarkable free learning opportunities you must consider.

With the flexibility of its online training programs, not taking advantage of its free courses is a massive mistake.

Grow with Google is the company’s program that helps learners fast-track themselves into high-demand job fields.

With Google Career Certificates, professionals can diversify their learning, making them some of the most competitive people in their industry.

The best part is that you don’t need any experience before signing up for courses, not even relevant experience.

If you are ready to learn at your own pace for zero costs, Google Career Certificates is something you must consider.

In most instances, you can finish the online program within six months by working on your studies 10 hours per week.

The courses are also incredibly flexible, making them easily fit into your schedule.

Further Your Studies for Free

Finding online colleges that pay you to attend is relatively simple, as more schools are making education more accessible.

From free courses to entirely free degree programs, there are many options.

It’s time to start post-secondary schooling today so that you can become the most competitive prospective employee possible.

Scroll to Top